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Max Verstappen speaks about Lewis Hamilton and getting under Charles Leclerc’s skin

Image source: Getty Images

Max Verstappen made his Formula 1 debut aged just 17 in the Japanese Grand Prix, but he has never won in the circuit.

Ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, he had an interview with BBC in which he discussed many topics.

This is Verstappen’s fifth year in F1 and his biggest rivals are now Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.

On the question about what lessons did he take form his battle with Hamilton, Verstappen answered: “It was fine. Initially, we were on the same tyres so we had a bit of fighting going on but at the end I was on tyres that were dying, actually dropping off, and he was on fresh tyres. For me, that was not really a fight. I prefer to have when it is a bit more equal. Lewis is a good racer. We respect each other a lot. We gave each other enough room to fight with, so that’s all good for me.”

Verstappen also referred back to the penalty that cost Leclerc’s teammate Sebastian Vettel victory in Canada and the three hours it took to decide not to penalize Verstappen in the same way as they did with Leclerc in Austria.

“Honestly, I think it’s a natural reaction,” Verstappen says. “I think anyone would have done that, especially when you have been like in Austria leading the whole race up until two laps to go and then lose it.

“But also Charles is better than the average driver as well. He has a talent and he is very good, so naturally, he will have that reaction. So he is a winner and a fighter so you’ll get that.”

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